Ryan Frain tinkered with his personnel Friday night at the start of the City 6 tournament against La Salle.
The Temple ice hockey coach opted to start backup goalie Scott Salamon instead of starter Eric Semborski prior to the game, giving Salamon his first action of the season.
The Owls needed a win against the Explorers in order to move on in the tournament and possibly play Sunday for the championship.
“It just one of those things where you picked this team and you trust them,” Frain said. “I just told him to go out there, have some fun, play hockey and just keep the puck out of the net.”
Salamon rewarded Frain with a shutout victory and the offense netted eight goals to pace the team for an 8-0 win.
Salamon was tested immediately when the Explorers skated into the Owls zone to get a quick shot off the opening faceoff, but Salamon stopped it with a pad save.
“I was a little nervous at first, but right off the bat I blocked a turnover shot so I think I settled in pretty quick,” Salamon said.
The Owls peppered La Salle goalie John Kenny with five goals in the second period to put the game out of reach.
“It’s just getting excited to try and represent the city and be the best team in the city,” forward Steve Kennedy said after his two-goal performance. “We are just trying to be consistent no matter who we are playing.”
The Owls’ offense controlled the puck most of the night, limiting the Explorers’ ability to maintain possession in Temple’s zone.
Defenseman Alex Wizna and forwards David Pataki and Chris Parrezzi enjoyed their first goals of the season.
Owls forward Brady O’Donnell got the offense started 1 minute, 13 seconds into game when he tucked a far-side past Kenny.
Kennedy tapped in a rebound, while Parrezzi took advantage of a scrum in front of LaSalle’s net to give the Owls a 3-0 lead.
The Owls were unable to take advantage of three power play chances in the period and almost gave up a shorthanded goal on a turnover. The Explorers had a two-on-one opportunity, but an improbable kick save by Salamon kept La Salle off the board.
The Owls’ lead expanded to 6-0 after a series of passes in front of the La Salle net ended on Pataki’s stick, who converted the easy goal.
O’Donnell closed the second period scoring a goal that reinforced who the better team was. After wrapping around the net, Brady fired shot that was blocked, but collected his own rebound and finished for the goal.
La Salle had the majority of its shots in the third period as the huge lead led to some of the younger players getting more ice time. Salamon was able to hold on to blank the Explorers and get the win.
Frain was even keel about his reaction from the game, as he said he hopes to get a much better effort against Villanova.
Villanova is a division one squad will be facing the Owls Saturday at 7 p.m. in the second day of the City 6 tournament.
Stephen Godwin Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter @StephenGodwinJr.